Avid movie-watcher and video store clerk Bazil has had his life all but ruined by weapons of war. His father was killed by a landmine in Morocco and one fateful night a stray bullet from a nearby shootout embeds itself in his skull, leaving him on the verge of instantaneous death. Losing his job and his home, Bazil wanders the streets until he meets Slammer, a pardoned convict who introduces him to a band of eccentric junkyard dealers including Calculator, a math expert and statistician, Buster, a record-holder in human cannonball feats, Tiny Pete, an artistic craftsman of automatons, and Elastic Girl, a sassy contortionist. When chance reveals to Bazil the two weapons manufacturers responsible for building the instruments of his destruction, he constructs a complex scheme for revenge that his newfound family is all too happy to help set in motion.Written by
The Massie Twins
Most of the advertising hoardings in the chase scenes are promoting the movie itself, with visuals that relate to the scene in which the hoarding appears. See more »
When Bazil picks up the brass to determine who manufactured the ammunition which struck him in the head, the name of the manufacturer is stamped on the back of the brass, as is the norm, but there is no primer. Instead, the stamp occupies the entire surface. See more »
French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet marks his return to the film world this weekend with Micmacs. For those of you unfamiliar with Jeunet's previous works, he is probably most known for his sugary goodness of a film that is Amélie. With Micmacs, Jeunet proves that he has not lost his touch.
We begin the film with a group of men in the desert. Each man is dressed in his best bomb-squad attire and is combing a strip of sand for landmines to diffuse. We focus on one man as he carefully locates and unearths a single mine. Just as he begins to diffuse it we are treated to a long shot of all of the men working as our friend blows up. The film zips away from this scene to the wife and son of the departed as they are informed of his death. Through several jump cuts, we are able to see that this event will affect the young boy's entire life. We then fast-forward to a small video rental store in modern day France. Bazil (Dany Boon), the young boy we previously met, is now fully grown and works at the video store. Bazil is presented as a simple and somewhat happy man with a love of film. He amorously recites the lines of the film he watches matching the cadence perfectly. At the same time, a high-speed car chase spills over into his world. As the chase passes by the video store, Bazil runs out to see the commotion. Just as he exits the store, a stray bullet flies out from the action movie taking place outside and catches him in the head, wounding, but not killing him. He is transported to a hospital where the doctor decides that he does not feel like chancing the surgery and leaves the bullet in Bazil's head.
As Bazil attempts to return to his life, he finds that everything has moved on without him. His apartment has been rented to someone new and his job has been giving to a cute young girl who gives him the bullet casing that was found in the street, remnants of the moment that changed everything. Bazil attempts to live a normal life, panhandling in order to get by. He is soon taken in by a group of eccentrics that will act as his family. While gathering junk he notices a building that bears the same symbol that was on the bullet casing. He then looks across the street and sees the symbol that was on the landmine that killed his father. The rest of the film then follows Bazil and his group as they seek to take down both companies.
The first thing that must be said about this film is how beautiful it is. Jeunet proves that a great filmmaker truly is an artist as each shot is more beautiful than the next. The viewer is never aware of just how fast the film often moves. Despite numerous jump cuts, a signature of Jeunet, the film feels very smooth, somehow avoiding the feeling that the film was edited by a child with ADD on a sugar high that often occurs with this technique. However, the film does have its flaws.
There is little character development throughout the film. The most well developed character, no surprise, is Bazil. The peripheral characters all seem to be one note jokes that are simply there to help both the story and Bazil move forward. I can honestly say that I cannot name any of the other characters in the movie, often referring to them as The Mother Figure, The Bendy Chick and That Human Cannonball Guy just to name a few. Of the eccentric group that Bazil runs with, each one has his own quirk with little to no development past that. The viewer is expected to accept these quirks and not dig any deeper into the characters. There truly is no fully three-dimensional character in the film.
Micmacs is consistently funny and ends in a way that will leave you smiling. The film is a feast for the eyes despite its lack of character development. If you like Amélie, you will like Micmacs. After five long years, it is great to be able to reenter Jeunet's world of whimsy.
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